Advancements in technology have brought us limitless convenience and have not only redefined how consumers live but also have changed the way they interact and experience products and services. As a result, consumers have come to expect completely customized experiences from brands. And why wouldn’t they? Many industries, such as banking, healthcare, retail etc. have embraced advances in technology. When it has become the norm, it is what you come to expect as a consumer. So when it comes to a hotel stay, today’s tech-savvy, mobile-first travelers expectations are no different. They are looking for a more efficient and personalized hotel stay and that can be achieved with hotel technology.
The hospitality industry is well positioned to take advantage of newer technolgies to enrich the guest experience. Newer hotel technology can play a key role in managing the guest’s experience at all stages of a visit—from the moment a guest plans a trip, to when they check in, are on property, check out, and even after they have walked out the door. “The traveller’s journey starts with convenient booking channels that provide ubiquitous access to reservations, it continues with an on-property experience that enables seamless connectivity, and it ends with post-stay communication that recognizes the guest in a personal way to build loyalty and encourage return visits. The guest lifecycle is powered by technology…” Hospitality Technology’s 2016 Lodging Technology Study
1) Via Data: The relationships hotels have with guests are the greatest source of competitive differentiation. Advances in technology mean hoteliers can now harness, analyse and utilise customer data and allow them to build and foster guest relationships in ways not thought possible ten years ago. Used correctly, data can inform hoteliers of customer preference and desire, allowing them to identify, create and nurture a more personalized, seamless guest experience for their guests at every point in the travel journey. A study by Sabre Hospitality Solutions found that “collecting and applying customer data and insights to deliver seamless, cross-channel experiences – especially by providing personal touches to travellers in exchange for their data – are key to meeting customers’ expectations, improving their experience and fostering loyalty that leads to future bookings.”
2) Via Mobility: Mobility is pervasive in everything we do – guests are highly mobile, always connected and expect to use their mobile devices to interact with products and services in new ways. Accenture believes that hoteliers who use new mobile solutions effectively can deliver benefits to guests resulting in enhanced Guest Satisfaction Index (GSI), loyalty and increased RevPAR (revenue per available room).
Mobile devices have become multipurpose and coupled with customer data they make for a powerful relationship allowing guests to, enter their room without the need of visiting a front desk, choose a check-in or check out time that fits their schedule, select a room based on their preferences etc. It also allows hoteliers to managing guests’ expectations, improve the guest experience by incentivize intelligently based on preferences and stay history and deliver personalized, location-based promotions on property for the guest or non-guest, and assist in the discovery of local activities and places of interest.
Not only that but mobile and data allow for front-line staff to be more effective at their jobs. Newer mobile PMS solutions mean staff can access guest information, arrivals, departures, in-house guests, waiting-lists, manage traces, manage housekeeping tasks and allow availability requests and reports generation etc. anytime, anywhere. Staff can also use messaging systems to communicated directly with guests and also view requests and comments across the entire property and delegate more effectively.
This type of mobile, data-driven communication is key to managing a guest’s experience and helps to create and sustain meaningful relationships with your guests. A strategy based on consumer preferences using mobile devices is crucial to be competitive and provide “uniqueness”. Hotels that leverage this technology will not only provide deliver a consistent, customized guest experience based on personal needs but also run their business more effectively by better managing operations and maximizing overall performance, enhancing sales and marketing approaches, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.